Top 3 Recommendations when Installing Firestopping Material | Kaloutas

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Top 3 Recommendations when Installing Firestopping Material

Firestopping material in a facility. Top 3 Recommendations when Installing Firestopping Material

When it comes to pre­vent­ing fires in your facil­i­ty and mit­i­gat­ing the dam­age they can cause, you can nev­er be too care­ful. Coat­ing struc­tur­al com­po­nents and sen­si­tive assets with fire­proof paint is essen­tial for pro­tect­ing your prop­er­ty from col­lapse and major dam­age – but fire­proof­ing is only one of many meth­ods to con­sid­er for pro­tect­ing your peo­ple and prop­er­ty from flames. Fire­proof­ing and firestop­ping are often con­flat­ed, but these terms refer to two sep­a­rate projects. Where­as fire­proof­ing involves spray­ing or paint­ing mate­ri­als with a cemen­ti­tious or intu­mes­cent coat­ing, firestop­ping refers to mate­ri­als and meth­ods that block gaps between assem­blies so fire and smoke can­not eas­i­ly trav­el from one area to the next with­in your building.

Here are three key rec­om­men­da­tions to fol­low when installing firestop­ping mate­r­i­al at your facility.

Three Rec­om­men­da­tions When Installing Firestop­ping Material

1. Under­stand the Firestop­ping Alphabet

Firestop­ping mate­ri­als come in a vari­ety of forms, includ­ing sealants, sprays, mechan­i­cal devices, foam blocks and pil­lows. Dif­fer­ent firestop­ping meth­ods are best suit­ed for spe­cif­ic appli­ca­tions. But with so many poten­tial firestop­ping appli­ca­tions, it helps to rely on some sort of stan­dard that sim­pli­fies the process. 

Under­writ­ers Lab­o­ra­to­ries (UL), an inter­na­tion­al inde­pen­dent safe­ty sci­ence com­pa­ny, tests and assess­es firestop­ping mate­ri­als pro­duced by dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers and gives them let­ter-based and numer­ic des­ig­na­tions based on the type of pen­e­trat­ed fire-rat­ed struc­ture (first let­ter) and con­struc­tion type (sec­ond let­ter). As for first let­ter assign­ments, F is for floor pen­e­tra­tions, W is for wall pen­e­tra­tions, and C is for both floor and wall pen­e­tra­tions. Sec­ond let­ter assign­ments include A for con­crete floors 5 inch­es thick or less, B for con­crete floors above 5 inch­es thick, C for framed floors – the list goes on.

From there, the fol­low­ing num­bers refer to the pen­e­trat­ing items. 1000 – 1999 cov­er met­al pip­ing, where­as 3000 – 3999 are for cables. Hav­ing these clas­si­fi­ca­tions handy (or mem­o­riz­ing them) is a great way to quick­ly iden­ti­fy which type of firestop­ping mate­r­i­al is need­ed and where it should go in your facility.

2. Imple­ment Firestop­ping Wher­ev­er There are Open­ings With­in Your Facility

Fires can spread fast, so con­tain­ing them is cru­cial. The more open­ings present in your facil­i­ty, the more space is cre­at­ed for flames to spread, putting your peo­ple, struc­ture, and assets at risk. As men­tioned ear­li­er, firestop­ping is con­cerned with block­ing off these open­ings via sprays, sealants, mechan­i­cal devices, and foam mate­ri­als. But even the high­est-qual­i­ty firestop­ping mate­ri­als won’t serve their func­tion if they’re not strate­gi­cal­ly and prop­er­ly placed through­out your facil­i­ty. As a rule of thumb, the two pri­ma­ry appli­ca­tions for firestop­ping are:

  • Around open­ings that are made in con­struc­tion for pipes, cables, or HVAC systems

  • Where two assem­blies meet, form­ing an expan­sion joint such as the top of a wall or floor-to-floor joints.

Put sim­ply, if there’s a gap between areas in your facil­i­ty, there’s an avenue for fire and smoke to escape – there­fore, all of these open­ings require atten­tion when installing firestop­ping mate­ri­als. Even a minor over­sight can result in major liability.

3. Keep a Close Eye on Codes

Fire codes rel­e­vant to your indus­try and facil­i­ty type deter­mine the con­struc­tion, pro­tec­tion, and occu­pan­cy rules you must adhere to. Keep in mind, how­ev­er, that these codes are sub­ject to change. Facil­i­ty man­agers must remain aware of any issues that might cause their facil­i­ty to fall out of com­pli­ance, as well as any updates in fire pro­tec­tion and pre­ven­tion codes. Keep­ing track of these detailed mat­ters requires sig­nif­i­cant time and ener­gy, how­ev­er, so it’s best to let the experts han­dle them and give you the run­down when necessary.

Work with Qual­i­ty Fire­proof Contractors

Firestop­ping is just one of many instal­la­tions relat­ed to fire safe­ty at your facil­i­ty, and it comes with its fair share of nuances and headaches. For­tu­nate­ly, Kaloutas brings the most updat­ed equip­ment and knowl­edge of what your com­mer­cial facil­i­ty needs for its firestop­ping so you can focus on your busi­ness. With fire engi­neers on staff, a no work stop­page guar­an­tee, and mul­ti­ser­vice reper­toire, you only have to imple­ment one con­trac­tor onboard­ing, one walk­through, and one con­tract when work­ing with us.

To learn more about us and all that we do, con­tact us online or give us a call at 9785321414 today.

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